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Lecture 18

GRST209 Lecture 18: GRST 209 - 26 Feb Fri

Greek and Roman Studies
Course Code
GRST 209
Bryan Natali

of 3
GRST 209 - 26 Feb Fri
Myths of Crete
• Log efore the Ido-Europeans culture developed on the island of Crete.
• Huge palae oplees ith colorful wall-paintings
• “ir Arthur Eas eaated there i 9s.
• He alled the iilizatio Mioa after thial kig Mios ho is said to hae
ruled in Kossos, the largest of Crete’s palaes.
• Ufortified = o fear of iasio
• Liear A ritig (non Indo-European)
(not yet deciphered unlike Linear B)
• Worshipped the feale deit (Great Goddess)
(represents fertility)
(snake image => connection to the earth, life, death, divinity)
• Bull featured proietl i art
-> Developed during the Bronze Age (3000-1600BCE)
-> Collapses c. 1450 BCE (Mycenaean invaders)
Europa and the Bull
• Desedats of )eus & Io (gave birth to important region of Greece) (4th generation)
Europa, Cadmus, Phoenix, Cilix in Phoenicia (eastern Mediterranean)
• Europa athes )eus’ ee. Zeus disguises himself as a bull. Europa finds this
bull very lovely.
• “itte girl lis o ull’s )eus’ ak ad gets take to Crete
• Her father Ageor seds rothers to look for her. Unsuccessful, they settle in
various lands: Phoenix (Phoenicia, modern Lebanon), Cilix (Cilicia, southeastern
Turkey), Cadmus (Thebes, central Greece)
• )eus ad Europa hae hildre: Mios, “arpedo & Rhadaaths
Minos & Pasiphaë
• )eus tired of Europa ad et ak to Olpus. Asterius, a loal Creta,
married Europa & adopted Minos (Zeus son) & his brothers
• Mios arried Pasiphae daughter of Helius
• Whe Asterius died, Mios laied kigship – he said Poseidon promised him
the throne and a bull rising from the sea, which he vowed to sacrifice to the god,
would prove it
• Did’t sarifie ull, angered Poseidon
• Pasiphaë ade to fall i loe ith the bull (by Poseidon)
• Daedalus faous raftsa, eile fro Athes – killed nephew because of his
nephews invention of saw, which made him mad) constructs a hollow, wooden
Pasiphaë climbs into wooden cow and is impregated  Poseido’s ull
(Minotaur -half bull, half human- conceived) -> (represents death)
• Mios orders Daedalus to reate a priso to house the Miotaur – the Labyrinth
(from Labrys, the double-axe that was an important symbol at Crete)
• Noe entered and came out, Minotaur would devour them (Labyrinth of Death)
• Later, Mios’ so Adrogëus traeled to Athes to opete i athleti gaes
ad as so suessful he aoed kig Aegeus Theseus’ dad
Aegus ordered him to fight the bull which was terrorizing the plain of Marathon
(same bull from Crete brought over by Heracles and later killed by Theseus)- father of Minatour
Androgëus was killed
• Mios lauhed a puitie epeditio agaist Athes due to his sons death
• Athes was attacked (Zeus sent famine and plague),
Athens consult to the oracle. Oracle advises capitulation (since there is no way
of winning the fight) seven boys and girls to be sent to Crete as sacrifice yearly
(or every 9 years)
• Theseus volunteers to go to Crete.
Theseus and the Minotaur
• Ariadê, Mios’ daughter fell i loe ith Theseus as he arried o Crete
• Proised to sho hi ho to defeat the Miotaur if he proised to arr her
• Daedalus gae her istrutios that she folloed ad she gae a all of thread
(modern word clue) to Theseus
• Theseus et ito the Larith, tig the thread to entrance, kills Minotaur
with sword, and followed thread back out
• Theseus ad Ariadê esape to Naos
He is then disgusted ith Ariadê’s treachery, he abandons her
later she eoes Diosus’ ride
• Mythological representation of hostilities between Athens & Crete
Daedalus & Icarus
• Mios as furious ith Daedalus oode o, all of thread ad imprisoned
him and his son, Icarus, inside the Labyrinth
• Daedalus egged to e alloed to retur to his hoelad, deied  Mios
He constructed wings of feathers and wax for him and his son to use to escape
(since he went too close to the son, even though his father warned him, he faced his death)
• Mios hased Daedalus to “iil, here he as at the ourt of a kig Cocalus
• Proised a prize to whoever could wind a thread through a spiral conch (only
Daedalus that clever; ant & honey used)
Cocalus solves problem (via Daedalus) and in doing so exposes Daedalus
• Mios deads Daedalus e haded oer, takes bath first killed by boiling
ater poured i  Coalus’ daughters –
In death Minos becomes a judge in underworld.